Starting a Career in Tech

Starting a Career in Tech

Tips for beginners and career switchers


5 min read

In today's digital age, pursuing a career in technology can be an exciting and rewarding choice. With numerous paths available, it's crucial to make informed decisions about your desired direction. In this article, I will be guiding you on starting a career in tech, choosing between coding and non-coding paths, tips for nurturing your professional growth in the field, and links to free learning platforms. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride ๐Ÿš€

Understand the Tech Landscape

Before embarking on your journey, take the time to explore the vast landscape of the tech industry. Familiarize yourself with different roles, such as software engineering, data analysis, UX/UI design, product management, cybersecurity, and more. Research job descriptions, required skills, and future prospects for each role to gain a better understanding of where your interests lie.

Coding vs. Non-Coding Paths

  1. Coding Path: If you enjoy problem-solving and have an aptitude for logical thinking, pursuing a coding path might be ideal for you. This path typically involves roles like software engineering, web development, mobile app development, quality assurance, cyber security, and data science; where you would write code that will run on a computer. Gaining proficiency in programming languages like Python, JavaScript, Java, or C# can open doors to various opportunities in these fields. Some of these fields require more active day-to-day coding than others.

  2. Non-Coding Path: Not everyone needs to be a coder to thrive in the tech industry. Non-coding roles often focus on areas such as product management, UI/UX design, technical writing, and data analysis. These roles require a deep understanding of technology and excellent communication and analytical skills. Pursuing certifications or degrees in relevant fields can help bolster your credibility.

Asides from the two paths mentioned above, you can do almost anything you are doing currently in a tech company. This ranges from human resource management, sales and marketing, and so on.

One of my mentees used to be in graphics design and I envied his top-notch design skills. When he asked for my advice on joining tech, I suggested that he looked into UI/UX design (sometimes called product design). So, maybe you want to ask yourself some questions on what you like doing or what you excel at. You should also do some research to find out the earning potential of each role but If you make decisions based only on the salaries, you may find yourself in a field where you are not doing well enough to earn big. That, my friend, is not where you want to be.

Build a Solid Foundation

Regardless of the path you choose, it's crucial to build a strong foundation in your field. Invest time in learning the fundamentals of computer science and technology concepts. Depending on your budget and time flexibility, you can choose from the numerous learning opportunities such as; online platforms (e.g. YouTube), coding bootcamps, or pursuing a formal degree in computer science. You may find yourself doing any of these at different stages in your career. I started learning online with mobile apps and YouTube, then I joined a coding bootcamp, and now I'm doing my masters in computer science.

Once you have spent some months learning the fundamentals, you also need to continuously seek out new technologies, tools, and frameworks to stay updated in the rapidly evolving tech landscape. It is a fast-paced environment and you need to stay up-to-date.

Practical Experience

Learning through practical experience is essential to solidify your skills. Work on personal projects or contribute to open-source projects to gain hands-on experience and showcase your abilities. Participate in hackathons, join coding communities, or collaborate on projects with fellow tech enthusiasts. These experiences will not only enhance your skills but also expand your network within the industry.

Also, it is very common to offer unpaid services in your early days, either as an intern or as an open-source contributor. Contrary to what you see on social media, tech is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Winks!

Networking and Mentorship

Building a strong professional network is invaluable in the tech industry. Attend industry conferences, meetups, and networking events to connect with like-minded individuals and industry experts. Seek out mentorship opportunities to gain guidance from experienced professionals who can provide insights and advice to help shape your career. I met some of my mentors through networking on social media and at tech events.

Continuous Learning

Technology evolves rapidly, and it's important to adopt a growth mindset and embrace lifelong learning. Stay up to date with the latest industry trends, attend webinars, and enrol in online courses or certifications to acquire new skills. Consider pursuing advanced degrees or specialized certifications to deepen your expertise and open doors to more challenging roles. As a newbie, don't be in a hurry to learn everything. Take it one step at a time so you don't feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

Tech is a field that thrives on innovation and disruption. Embrace challenges and be open to taking calculated risks. Embracing challenges will help you grow both professionally and personally.

Next Steps

This article will not be complete if I whet your appetite but do not tell you what to do next. Have you decided on what field to go to, visit freeCodeCamp learning platform and select any of the paths on this page to learn for free. If you have any questions or need detailed information, ask in the comments and I will reply to you ASAP. Follow me on all social media platforms to get updates on the latest topics in tech. Search for "uniqcoda".